October 10, 2018 — Today the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published proposed changes to factors used in determining eligibility for legal permanent residency in the U.S., by considering immigrant families’ use of non-cash public programs, like CalFresh, Medi-Cal, and Section 8 housing vouchers as part of “public charge.”
These proposed changes would have a dramatic impact on the health and well-being of countless California families who contribute to our economy and who deserve a chance to succeed and thrive, not just survive.
Early Edge California along with 1,500 other organizations have signed a statement opposing the proposed changes.
How You Can Show Your Support for Immigrant Families:
Help inform our immigrant communities about these proposed changes so that families understand their rights. The following organizations provide helpful resources about the effects that the proposed changes would have on immigrant families’ access to services:
Immigrant Legal Resource Center – Provides comprehensive overview of Public Charge
California Food Policy Advocates – Impact that changes to public charge would have on California families. This organization also provides suggested comments to enter in the register.
The following is the public comment submitted by Early Edge California opposing changes to definition of “public charge.”
“As an organization dedicated to advocating for policies that support children’s health and well being during the first years of life, we are writing to express our opposition to the Department of Homeland Security’s proposed rule to change the definition of “public charge.” By making public services such as CalFresh, Medi-Cal, and Section 8 housing vouchers part of “public charge,” the proposed rule places an unprecedented new wealth test on families coming to the U.S. in search of a better life.
Accessing primary care, receiving vaccinations or nutrition assistance and attending public school does not mean that an immigrant family will become primarily dependent on the government system for subsistence but rather, it provides families and their children with the health, nutrition and other supports they may need in the process of becoming self-sufficient.
Families who contribute to our economy deserve a chance to succeed and thrive, not just scrape by and this proposed rule would exacerbate issues of poverty, hunger and health for millions of children during their critical years of development.
We urge this administration to strike this proposed rule and reaffirm the value of non-cash services in helping to improve the lives of all who wish to have a better future through hard work, regardless of their income.”